Process, Product & Fixed-Position Layouts

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  • 0:02 Facility Layout
  • 0:27 Process Layout
  • 1:22 Product Layout
  • 2:48 Fixed-Position Layout
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

How machines and other equipment are arranged in a facility has a direct impact on its efficiency. Different products require different layouts. Each of these layout also has a different operation cost.

Facility Layout

When designing a facility layout, business owners must take into account the product they are producing. The facility layout is actually very dependent on the product being made. We define a facility layout as the arrangement of the machines and other equipment used in the facility. In this lesson, we'll take a look at three different facility layouts and the types of product each facility is ideal for producing.

Process Layout

The first layout to look at is the process layout. In this layout, similar items are grouped together. This type of layout is commonly seen in auto shops and department stores. Looking into an auto shop, you might see that screwdrivers are located in one location, while the car parts are located in a different location. In a department store, you will probably see the women's clothes in one area, the men's clothes in another area, and the toys in yet another area.

This type of layout is ideal for facilities that perform custom jobs. Auto shops, for example, are usually asked to perform a different job with each customer. Department stores serve many people at a time, each with a different need.

The drawback to this type of layout is its inefficiency. It takes time to gather all the needed tools and there is a lot of backtracking as products and tools are shuffled from place to place.

Product Layout

Next comes the product layout. In this type of layout, equipment, tools, and machines are located according to how a product is made. Another term for this type of layout is 'assembly line'. Products are passed down the line from station to station as they are being made.

Product layouts are specific for the product it is making. For example, the product layout to make a 4-cylinder sedan cannot be used to build a computer. Actually, even a change to the 4-cylinder sedan itself may require large changes to the product layout. If, for example, the 4-cylinder sedan changed so that its doors now include wireless technology, then the whole product layout will need to be moved so that the equipment to install this wireless technology can be put into place. As you can imagine, making this kind of change can get very expensive.

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